Annandale NSW Australia -33.8814; 151.1707

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Annandale Streetscape - Tom Worthington

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Anecdotal History

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urban scene with factories, houses and church with spire1916-1930 - Trams, Trains, Sound, Film and Industry

Annandale's Great War: A Short Walk | Douglas Grant | The Fitzpatrick Brothers | 36th Battalion | Wireless Miller Brothers | End of the Great War | Trains, Sound, Film and Industry | Beale Pianos | Electricity | 1920s Annandale: A Short Walk

AMUSEMENT TAX | "Onkaparinga" writes:
Sir,-Membership of a social club at Annandale costs 10/ for season, which admits to euchre and dance. It's the amusement tax to be paid by the club on dance tickets?
Yes, under section 11, Act 36, of 1916. - The Sydney Morning Herald 30 April 1917

Joyce Biscuits

Photograph of Joyce's Biscuit Factory, Annandale, 1926 and "Biscuit Tin Lid" [1986/209.b], Joyce Biscuits Propriety Limited

"Eileen and Eric met in 1927 one day at work when Eric found that the mattress case sewn by Eileen was incorrect.... They were wed at St. Aidens, Annandale in Balmain on the 23rd of May, 1929" -the real mattress and base co.History

Railway Bridge (now used by Light Rail)

"The Annandale (Railway Parade) railway bridge has local significance as an integral part of a separate railway network built between 1910 and 1922 for freight trains to traverse the metropolitan area independent of the passenger train network." -

road with church with tall steeple


George Lawrence (1901-81) Australia: Street scene, Making the highway, Hawkesbury...more

Eric Wilson, Born Annandale NSW 1911 d. 1947 - Berowra:Watercolour and ink on paper, , A penny farthing: Drawing, 'A Villers Bretonneaux hill' (c1939), 'Scottish monument past German lines, German front line, Beaumont Hamel' [recto] (c1939) (drawing), 'Switchback scenic rail track at exposition, Paris' (c1939)....Sleeping couple, Calais crossing) (c1939):Pen and blue ink and pencil on lined laid paper (notebook page, Profile portrait sketch of William Dobell (c1937)...more


"a repetition of the street scenes in Sydney two years ago, when a reduced tram service brought to light conveyances discarded as too old and useless, and drawn by aged animals, to whom the same remark ap-plied. Small rough and ready services from suburbs situated like Annandale and Leichhardt reaped a rich harvest. - Argus (Melbourne, Vic.) Thursday 17 July 1919

Manufacturers of High-grade and First class Furniture can give you satisfaction.
All timbers stacked for years before using...
O.K. ELLIOTT'S, LIMITED, The Crescent, Annandale.
Balmain and Birchgrove Trams (only) to door 2d from Central Station. - The Sydney Morning Herald (Mon 20 Dec 1920, Page 4)

Wycombe Furniture Factory 1930 '£25,000 ANNANDALE BLAZE.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 7 June, p. 5, viewed 22 January, 2014,

Timber Stacks, the Crescent 1926 'ANNANDALE FIRE STILL BURNING.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 19 July, p. 1, viewed 22 January, 2014,

The factory of the Acme Horseshoe Manufacturing Company, In Trafalgar lane, at the rear of 207 Trafalgar Street, Annandale, was Badly damaged by fire last night... It was thought that some sparks from the fire used to heat the steel caused the out - The Sydney Morning Herald 5 February 1927

£15,000 FIRE
Sydney Drapery Stores FIREMEN IN DANGER
The premises of the Go Ahead Drapers, Parramatta Road, Annandale, were totally destroyed by early this morning. - The Canberra Times, Monday 14 May 1928

At this time, trams ran along Booth St. According to Sydney/Newcastle Tramway History the Balmain Line tram ran from Balmain Road along Booth and Taylor Sts to Glebe and another line ran along Paramatta Rd.

Booth Street Tram c1955: on Minogue Crescent, Forest Lodge; on Johnston Creek Bridge; at Trafalgar St; at North Annandale Hotel, Johnston Street and at Annandale Street

Tram on Parramatta Road near Johnston Street and near Annandale St

1928 Footage of Sydney Trams

There were no cable trams running in Melbourne last evening... repetition of the street scenes in Sydney two years ago, when a reduced tram service brought to light conveyances discarded as too old and useless, and drawn by aged animals, to whom the same remark applied. Small rough and ready services from suburbs situated like Annandale and Leichhardt reaped a rich harvest...1919 'NO NIGHT TRAMS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), 17 July, p. 4, viewed 23 December, 2010

From a rented house in Annandale he made and sold 'White Cloud' shoe cleaner...Hat blocking machine, 1900 - 1930 (Powerhouse Museum collection)

Sir William McKell who was Premier of NSW (1941-1947) and Governor-General of Australia (1947-1953) married local Minnie May Pye, a 26-year old tailoress, in St Aidan's Anglican Church in January 1920. - Biography of Sir William McKell

"An accident occurred on the Parramatta road, near Trafalgar Street, Annandale, early yesterday morning. Three men wer run down by a motorist travelling at a high speed, and were hurled aside with terrific force. They lay huddled and unconsions on the roadway, but the driver drove away.
The pedestrians who suffered in the accident were:ROBERT WALKER, married, aged 42 years, of 14 Taylor-street, Annandale, fracture of both legs and a fracture of the base of the skull. FRANK SMITH, aged 24 years, of 284 Nelson street, Annandale, concussion of the brain and lacerations to head. ALFRED MITCHELL, aged 24 years, of 6 Collins-street, Annandale fracture of the skull and severe scalp wounds..." - 1924 'COLLISION.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 15 September, p. 9, viewed 27 November, 2012,

"LORRY THROUGH FLAMES. Director's Plucky Effort.SYDNEY, Monday - A fire which occurred in the premises of the State Paper Company, at Trafalgar Street, Annandale...Firemen who had been summoned by telephone from Beale's factory next door, turned their hoses on the lorry. ..."1926 'PAPER FACTORY BURNT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), 26 October, p. 19, viewed 23 December, 2010,


1930s street scene Factory and street with car and telegraph pole black and white photo of factory
Photographs of Raycophone Factory at 62 Booth Street, corner of Trafalgar Street

Raycophone Factory, looking up Trafalgar Street The Masonic Hall visible (1935), previously the site of the primitive methodist school hall.

Raycophone Factory, looking down (North) along Trafalgar Street to Booth Street

Raycophone Factory, looking South along Trafalgar Street from Trafalgar street north of Booth

Raycophone Factory, looking west along Booth Street, from intersection at Trafalgar Street

The Raycophone system of synchronized sound for motion pictures was first demonstrated in 1929 by Raymond Cotton Allsop. See: Photographs of Radio Factory in Annandale and 1929: Australian engineer tackles the talkies.

On 29 June 1929, engineer Ray Allsop invented the Raycophone sound projector and exhibited four short sound-on-disc musical films he had produced. By mid-1937, when the sound wiring of all 1,420 Australian cinemas was complete, 345 Raycophone systems had been installed. Located at 62 Booth St, Annandale, NSW, the Raycophone company also produced domestic wireless receivers and developed sound recording and mixing technology.
...The company’s take-over in April 1930 by Harringtons Ltd—an Australian photographic (and later film) equipment supplier and distributor since 1899 and a radio supplier since the inception of the industry in 1888—further ensured its survival by increasing Raycophone Ltd’s manufacturing and engineering talent, enlarging its sales and distribution potential and infusing financial resources into Allsop’s regional sound company.... -Preventing extinction of the Australian enterprise. Talking Salvation for the Silent Majority: Projecting new possibilities of modernity in the Australian cinema, 1929–1933

Photo of Sound technicians setting up the turn-table and amplifiers for the first "talkies" in Australia, 1927-1928"

Fashion 1920s to 1940s

There has been considerable ill feeling in the public over the attitude taken up by the Western Electric Company of U.S.A. in relation to the use of an Australian talkie machine which was giving excellent results. The idea of dictating to Australia what she should or should not do, under pain of American displeasure and the consequent boycott by the Americans of those talking-picture theatres which dared to use the Raycophone in defiance of the ukase of the U.S.A., just about on Prussianed Prussia when she thought she had the world in her grip, and it is time Australia, like Canada, showed the Amricans that she is still an integral part of the United Kingdom of Britain and not subject to the Stars and Stipes. - 1929 'MELBOURNE NOTES.', Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954), 13 July, p. 14, viewed 10 January, 2012,

" "TALKIE" EQUIPMENT. Australian Manufacture. Harringtons Ltd. has acquired control of the manufacture and distribution of Raycophone "talkie" equipment. Raycophone is almost entirely of Australian manufacture and 100 men have been employed. A new equipment, designed for country theatres, has been announced, and it is expected that work will be provided for a number of additional men." The Argus 8 April 1930 Page 15

The Royal Theatre or Annandale Theatre, Johnston Street, Annandale

Photograph of Annandale Theatre 1925

Annandale's first picture show, Waddington's on Parramatta Road opened in 1908, the site was later occupied by the Strand Theatre (and in between, the Annandale Olympia De Luxe). Margaret's earliest memory of an Annandale Theatre, on Johnston Street, was 1914, this was replaced by a grander Annandale Theatre/Royal Theatre (now a Petrol Station, next to post office). Article includes 1950s photo of Royal. - Annandale's Cinemas by Margaret Quinn Jun 5, 1975 - Leichhardt Historical Journal

Royal Theatre, North Annandale, 01 Jan 1923-31 Dec 1961

"The manager, Mr Edgar Rein then announced that owing to the fallure of the current the programme would have to be suspended He made no mention of the fire, and asked the people to leave Checks, to enable them to witness another progamme were given out as the audience passed out it was only when they sa' outside the Fire engines from the Annan- dale) and Leichhardt brigades that the people realised what had happened...1927 'FIRE BREAKS OUT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 8 June, p. 15, viewed 10 January, 2012,

REIN JOHN ANTHONY, enlisted 1939, born Annandale 26 Sep 1921, Next of Kin - REIN J

1990 Interview with Thomas 'Tom' Wilkinson, a lieutenant, 2/6th Australia General Hospital for The Keith Murdoch Sound Archive of Australia in the War of 1939-4: "Yes, most of my growing up occurred in Annandale - Johnson Street, Annandale. My father was a butcher and he had a - a shop and we lived opposite. Uh, I spent the first probably twenty-three years of my life there. Right, and I know that you did go on to finish leaving certificate I think you said, in 1933. Mmm. What happened after that? Well I went to Sydney University and then to the Faculty of Science and for my first year there, was 1934, and I was there for four years and I completed the science course by doing the honours year in organic chemistry...Uh, of course we were encouraged to respect the flag and honour the Queen, as I well remember every Empire Day as it was in those times; we used to collect the local picture theatre in Annandale and have patriotic films shown to us. But I think the main attraction was the bag of boiled lollies we used to be given at the end of the performance (laughs)...Um, I know it was in '38-'39 that you spent this time with CSR [sic], in Canberra ... Yes ... ... as a - in studying plant industry I think ... (5.00) Well doing - we were doing research on the control of weeds and my function was to estimate - the particular one we were doing was skeleton weed round the Wagga district - and we used to poison these off with arsenic preparations and I used to measure the amount of arsenic at various spots down the long taproot of the - of the skeleton weed...."

Beale Piano

women in 1920s dress stringing grand piano frames

Women stringing pianos 1920s - courtesy Leichhardt Local Studies collection.

More about Beale Piano Factory

ALLEGED BREACH OF AGREEMENT. Rein v United Artists (Australasia) Ltd.
The suit of Edgar Laurence Rein and others, trading as "Annandale Theatre," against United Artists (Australasia), Ltd., Was before the Court by way of an application on behalf of tire plaintiffs to continue the interim Injunction restraining the defendants from distributing to the Olympia Theatre, Annandale, or the Strand Theatre, Leichhardt, the picture film known as "Stella Dallas," or any other motion picture Ulm which they had agreed with plaintiffs should not be exhibited in the theatre named. Particulars of the plaintiff's claim have already been published - 1927 'IN EQUITY.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 5 April, p. 8, viewed 10 January, 2012,

Annandale Royal Theatre – memoirs and a demolition in 1960..By Localnotes, on April 28th, 2017

The Asbestos Packing and Braiding Company

The Asbestos Packing and Braiding Company, of Annandale, expects to begin in July making rubber tubing, cords for electric wires, flat braid, and all kinds of engineers' packing -The Sydney Morning Herald Thursday 15 May 1930

The Nationalist party younger set of Annandale held a dance on Monday evening at the Colonade Hall, Annandale, to raise votes for Miss F. D. Leddra, the Annandale candidate in the Sydney Flying Squadron's queen of the harbour competition. - The Sydney Morning Herald 1 October 1930

The Phoenix Fibrous Plaster Company

FACTORY DESTROYED BY FIRE. The Phoenix Fibrous Plaster Company, at the corner of Johnston and Rose streets, Annandale - The Sydney Morning Herald... Wednesday 25 April 1923, page 12

The factory of the Fibrous Plaster Company, Company, at Annandale, was destroyed by fire this morning. The contents of the building included two 'busses, which could not be saved owing. Western Argus (Kalgoorlie) Tuesday 1 May 1923, page 10.


WANTED, BATTERY CHARGER, immediately, capacity 8 to 10 batteries. H. SIMONS, 72 Trafalgar St Annandale - 1929 'Advertising.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 10 August, p. 21, viewed 19 September, 2011,

FOR SALE, Stromberg Carlson All-Electric 3 valve Set with Magnavox Speaker £30 cash or terms L Harrop 59 Booth-st Annandale - 1929 'Advertising.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 10 August, p. 21, viewed 19 September, 2011,

A Witches house looses it's Hat

large houses above a street
Photograph: Witches Houses 260,262,264 Johnston Street

Jason wrote in Vanessa Berry's BLOG that one of the witches houses, in which he grew up, lost "their hat" in a lightning strike in the 1920s.

1890 Photograph of 260-270 Johnston Street (Showing lost Witch's Hat)

STECK Pianola Player £110 Used model, £10 deposidt 14/- weekly WINKWORTH's 160 Parramatta Road Annandale near Johnston Street Section - 1929 'Advertising.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 10 August, p. 21, viewed 19 September, 2011,

This page last update 10 May 2016.